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Hikes And Bites In San Francisco
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Hikes And Bites In San Francisco

Picture of Heather Silveira
Updated: 10 December 2016
Northern California is a delicious place to be, and the reasons stretch far beyond its plump wine grapes and happy cows. Traveling by foot allows the traveler to experience the unique culture, food, architecture, natural art, and people up close. Read on for some of the top urban hikes and bites in San Francisco.

Rolling Hills And Guacamole

Ditch the gym; the golden city is a hiker’s fantasy with its challenging climbs and breathtaking views of one of the Pacific’s largest natural harbors. San Francisco is a melting pot of cultures. The city was originally a Spanish and, at one time, Mexican mission and pueblo before it became US territory. The history lives on in its great Mexican restaurants. Garaje is home of some of the city’s top-rated tacos, beer, burgers, and zapatos in the SoMa (south of Market Street) district. Customers drool over its carnitas, grilled tilapia, and albacore tuna tacos, complete with a sophisticated selection of bottled and on-draft beers. Nearby, on Chestnut Street, Pacific Catch has artfully designed tacos, cocktails and indulgent guacamole. Sit outside for prime people watching. This local hot spot shares a fun fact on its website; it was featured on the first iPhone commercial as the top restaurant to pop up for a seafood search.

Garaje, 473 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 644 0838

The Pacific Catch, 2027 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 440 1950

The Botanical Garden And Japanese Tea Garden

The San Francisco Botanical Garden has been an exotic spot for dreamy walks since the ’40s, and locals get in for free. Located in the city’s Golden Gate Park district, this urban paradise spans 55 acres, with more than 8,000 varieties of eye candy from around the world. Bask in the glory of poppies in the California Native Garden; delight your senses in the Garden of Fragrance; travel the world in the Andean Cloud Forest and Chilean Garden, Mesoamerican and Southeast Asian Cloud Forests, Rhododendron Garden, Ancient Plan Garden, Moon Viewing Garden; discover why they call the Magnolia collection their signature show; and experience the awe of gentle giants in the Redwood Grove, all without leaving the city. Wander next door to reward yourself at San Francisco’s Japanese Tea Garden with an iced or steaming meditative cup of tea and sumptuous Japanese dessert. Sit back and learn why they call it a ‘Zen’ garden. The newly renovated Tea House features sweeping views of the manicured grounds and the soft whisper of bubbling water.

San Francisco Botanical Garden, 1199 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 661 1316

Japanese Tea Garden, 7 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 752 1171

The Pacific Catch On Chestnut Street l © Heather Silveira
The Pacific Catch On Chestnut Street l | © Heather Silveira

The Haight District’s Sweetest Secret

Travel back in time to Haight-Ashbury, the epicenter of hippy culture, the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, and the city’s sweetest secret. After a trip through the ’60s and ’70s, travel further back to the city’s 1930s-style hot spot, The Ice Cream Bar. Discover why 7X7 says it has one of the 50 cocktails to try before you die, Eater calls it one of the 10 top milkshakes in the city, Gayot declares it one of the top 10 ice cream shops in the US, and Forbes Travel Guide deems it one of the five must-taste ice cream shops in San Francisco. Nearly everything is made in-house: old-school, made-to-order hand-shaken milkshakes; cocktails; hot fudge; sodas created before your eyes, like its famous sassafras root beer and other tinctures; and, of course, delectable house-churned ice creams. The food and organic drip coffee are also what give this must-stop shop a nearly five-star rating on Yelp. Full House fans can walk off this artful indulgence on the hill where the Painted Ladies perch, explore the ethereal Palace of Fine Arts, and meander onto Ocean Beach by Golden Gate Park nearby to watch the sun set behind the Golden Gate. It is no wonder California is nicknamed The Golden State.

The Ice Cream Bar, 815 Cole Street, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 742 4932

Root Beer Float At The Ice Cream Bar l © Heather Silveira
Root Beer Float At The Ice Cream Bar l | © Heather Silveira